World Championship A-qualifying performances from Joshua Ross (University of NSW) and Youcef Abdi (Randwick-Botany Harriers) and a NSW U18 Record to Ryan Gregson (Kembla Joggers) were the highlight performances from NSW athletes at the Sydney Telstra A-Series on Saturday.
Joshua Ross was beaten by the narrowest of margins in the 100m by Athens 200m gold medalist Shawn Crawford. Crawford clocked a time of 10.16 to Ross’ 10.17 – his second A-qualifier for the Osaka World Championships.
On racing one of the world’s fastest men, Ross stated “You need those guys around you, it’s going to bring the best out of you. I’m going to go quicker from this point in.”
Ross backed up later in the evening to take the 200m in a personal best time of 20.70 seconds ahead of Daniel Batman (AIS and Sutherland).
Youcef Abdi and Martin Dent (ACT) shared the lead around in the men’s 3000m steeplechase and were both rewarded with world championship A-qualifiers. Abdi proved too strong over the final lap, winning in 8:22.7 to Dent’s 8:24.2 (hand timed). Abdi’s run was his second A-qualifier for the world championships and less than a second outside his NSW record of 8:21.98.
Ryan Gregson raced his idol Craig Mottram for the first time in the men’s 3000m. Gregson ran a controlled race towards the rear of the field and shattered the 16 year old U18 3000m Record by over four seconds with a run of 8:15.22. Also producing one of the quickest 3000m times by a NSW junior in the last decade was Ben Guest (Gosford), who clocked a time of 8:16.06 as part of his preparation for next month’s World Cross Country Championships where he will participate in the junior 8km event.
Like Sally McLellan in the women’s sprint hurdles, Justin Merlino (Sydney University) was denied a record due to an illegal tailwind. Merlino clocked a time of 13.77 seconds with the aid of a +2.8 m/s tailwind, which given legal conditions would have surpassed Warren Parr’s 30 year old NSW Record of 13.6s (equivalent to 13.84 electronic). In second was Greg Eyears (Bankstown Sports) who ran 13.96 seconds.
Other good performances were a personal best of 54.34s by Trisha Holtz (Hunter Track & Field) in finishing second in the women’s 400m and World Youth Qualifiers of 4:20.38 and 4:24.78 to Chloe Tighe (Campbelltown) and Claire Doyle (Randwick-Botany Harriers).